L.A. Investment Group Assumes Loan to Buy Mall

Rather than seek entirely new financing in a low liquidity environment, a group of California investors opted to take over an existing, $25 million conduit loan to purchase a retail shopping mall in the state of Washington.

Los Angeles-based Vintage Capital Group LLC acquired Wenatchee Valley Mall in East Wenatchee, Wash. for a total of $32.5 million. The seller was PASSCO, based in Irvine, Calif. As part of the deal, Vintage Capital Group assumed an existing mortgage on the property that is already part of a commercial mortgage-backed security deal, according to Richard Walter, president of Faris Lee Investments. Irvine, Calif.-based Faris Lee represented both parties in the transaction.

“We believed that the assumption of the existing loan was critical to sell this property in a post-CMBS meltdown market,” Walter says. “The existing loan was for $25 million at an interest rate of 5.54%, which is below current rates.”

Wenatchee Valley Mall is a 339,725 sq. ft. project at 511 Valley Mall Parkway in Douglas County on the banks of the Columbia River in Central Washington. The property is anchored by a Macy’s, which is on a ground lease, and by Sears, Bed Bath & Beyond and Ross Dress for Less. The mall was 92% occupied at the close of escrow.

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